Polling opens today in the referendum being run by the Society on whether to support alternative business structures (ABSs).

Members will receive polling instructions by email, or by post if the Society does not hold an email address for them. Votes can be cast until 12 noon on 7 April 2010.

To ensure fairness, the referendum is being run through the Electoral Reform Service. The questions, which have been framed in consultation with ERS, are:

Question 1
Do you support in principle the introduction of Alternative Business Structures ("ABSs") to Scotland as long as there are appropriate safeguards to protect the core values of the legal profession and there is an equivalence of regulation between ABSs and traditional firms? (Check Yes or No.)

Question 2
In the event that the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill enabling ABSs to operate as Licensed Providers is passed into law, should the Law Society of Scotland apply to be a Regulator of such Licensed Providers? (Check Yes or No.)

The Special General Meeting requisitioned by the Scottish Law Agents Society on whether the Society should support ABSs will still take place this Thursday, 25 March, at 10am in Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh.